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Rattle and Hum

diverse experiences, sounds drive Rattlenecks debut EP

Zack Katz

STICKING THEIR NECKS OUT. The Rattlenecks are a new(ish) band composed of familiar faces, including local rocker Jim Pullman, far right.
STICKING THEIR NECKS OUT. The Rattlenecks are a new(ish) band composed of familiar faces, including local rocker Jim Pullman, far right.

After a solid year of writing, recording, and hanging out, The Rattlenecks have found their form with a self-titled EP, but it’s certainly not the quintet’s first rodeo.

A new name for some familiar faces, The Rattlenecks created something of an Eau Claire supergroup – each member having been involved in other local musical efforts. It may be their first release, but the EP rolls out the collective’s stockpiled musical experience.

“There’s nothing too heavy on the album. And looking back at our Sounds Like Summer performance last year, we’re much tighter as a group in sound and spirit.” – local music vet Jim Pullman on how the members of his new band,
The Rattlenecks, have gelled

The ’Necks originally meshed as a “harmony-and-bass trio” Jim Pullman (leader of his own eponymous band) said he and fellow guitar-vocalists Todd Barneson and Gabe Koxlien dreamed up. And, after deciding to record, a couple of young guns – classically trained drummer Davy Sumner (The Frenettes) and Barneson’s fellow Big Back Yard country-rocker Ethan Schmidt – were added to Rattle’s rhythm roster. Each musician boasts a different style, and none of them are shy about letting that be reflected in the album’s resulting sound. There’s no compromising, though. Pullman said the idea exchange present in the writing process often turns into a learning experience for all of the group’s other members.

A full year of mashing these minds together sounds like it could be a messy operation, but the Rattlenecks make the bright, straightforward blend of folk-rock and country look easy. The EP manages an upbeat pace with some dispirited harmonies that lead to a natural-sounding output.

“There’s nothing too heavy on the album,” Pullman said. “And looking back at our Sounds Like Summer performance last year, we’re much tighter as a group in sound and spirit.” The Rattlenecks cohesiveness comes as a result of palling around and enjoying themselves rather than approaching practices as a routine or chore. After enjoying a few beers and catching up, Pullman said it usually takes someone saying “I guess we should play some music now, huh?” before getting serious. “I’ve been in bands where you show up to practice, get through the set and go home,” added Pullman, who said he’s fortunate to have a group of guys who look forward to performing their music. The informality and genuine friendship of The Rattlenecks is what sparks their enthusiasm, and as a testament they’re already back to the drawing boards for more material.

The EP, released on June 19, is a short and sweet five tracks. With the momentum offered by the release, Pullman said he and the boys will be out gigging as much as possible this summer.

The Rattlenecks’ debut EP is available at The Local Store, 205 N. Dewey St., Eau Claire, or online at therattlenecks.bandcamp.com. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/TheRattlenecks.